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50 best space movies of all time

  • #30. World on a Wire (1973)

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
    - Stacker score: 80.7
    - Metascore: 76
    - IMDb rating: 7.9
    - Votes: 4,680
    - Runtime: 212 min

    A topic that has recently encouraged discussion among philosophers, scientists, and one intrepid tech entrepreneur is that of humanity’s existence. Are we real? Or are we living in a simulation? Some believe there’s an infinitesimal probability that we’re simulated humans, given how close we are to creating simulated societies ourselves. That question is probed by “World on a Wire,” a two-part miniseries made for German television, that predates later films like “The Matrix,” which explores similar themes.

  • #29. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

    Directed by Rian Johnson
    - Stacker score: 81.3
    - Metascore: 85
    - IMDb rating: 7.1
    - Votes: 466,253
    - Runtime: 152 min

    The middle entry of the third “Star Wars” theatrical trilogy, “The Last Jedi,” sees a precarious Resistance trying to hold on to hope as they’re pummelled by the First Order at every turn. Elsewhere, Rey attempts to convince Luke Skywalker, a reclusive hermit who wants nothing to do with his past heroism, to train her in the ways of the force. The movie angered some die-hard fans, but was overall warmly received by critics.

  • #28. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

    Directed by James Gunn
    - Stacker score: 81.8
    - Metascore: 76
    - IMDb rating: 8.1
    - Votes: 951,079
    - Runtime: 121 min

    The aforementioned “Thor: Ragnarok” brought life and color to the Thor franchise; it owes a debt to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is likewise a colorful space adventure that brings exotic aliens and swashbuckling action to the MCU. Come for the visuals and Chris Pratt’s charming performance, stay for the 80s nostalgia and killer soundtrack.

  • #27. First Man (2018)

    Directed by Damien Chazelle
    - Stacker score: 81.8
    - Metascore: 84
    - IMDb rating: 7.3
    - Votes: 123,008
    - Runtime: 141 min

    After directing 2016’s Best Picture-losing love letter “La La Land,” Chazelle recruited Ryan Gosling to play Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” a docudrama about the perils of the space program leading up to that most famous walk on the moon. With strong performances throughout, and incredible special effects and sound design on the space launches, “First Man” is a must-see for any Apollo enthusiasts.

  • #26. Hard to be a God (2013)

    Directed by Aleksei German
    - Stacker score: 81.8
    - Metascore: 90
    - IMDb rating: 6.7
    - Votes: 4,062
    - Runtime: 177 min

    Fermi’s paradox ponders that since the universe is so vast, and our civilization is a relatively young one compared to the age of the universe, where are all the aliens? Are we truly alone? Some scientists believe that Earth is under watch; the aliens know about us, but don’t wish to interfere with our progress as a society. “Hard to be a God” imagines a situation in which humans interfere with an alien civilization that’s centuries behind in progress, and the complex situations that arise when you mess with natural development.

  • #25. Planet of the Apes (1968)

    Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
    - Stacker score: 82.8
    - Metascore: 79
    - IMDb rating: 8.0
    - Votes: 156,173
    - Runtime: 112 min

    One of the most famous sci-fi films of all time, “Planet of the Apes” sees a crashed spaceship’s crew wander a planet dominated by primates, only to discover a dark secret. With groundbreaking prosthetics that hold up to this day, it’s worth watching or re-watching just for the famous quote: “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!”

  • #24. Interstellar (2014)

    Directed by Christopher Nolan
    - Stacker score: 83.3
    - Metascore: 74
    - IMDb rating: 8.6
    - Votes: 1,302,712
    - Runtime: 169 min

    Christopher Nolan is known for making mind-bending films that challenge and enthrall the viewer, and 2014’s “Interstellar” is a worthy addition to that canon. In a not-too-distant future, humanity suffers the widespread effects of climate change. Abandoning Earth is the only hope, and when a mysterious wormhole opens up at the end of the solar system, a daring crew travels through. Working against impossible odds and the forces of space and time, the crew must do everything possible to survive in this three-hour epic starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine.

  • #23. The Martian (2015)

    Directed by Ridley Scott
    - Stacker score: 83.3
    - Metascore: 80
    - IMDb rating: 8.0
    - Votes: 681,658
    - Runtime: 144 min

    Based on the popular novel, “The Martian” is about mankind joining for a singular mission: save astronaut Mark Watney, who was abandoned on Mars after the rest of his crew made an emergency exit during a dust storm. Played by a charismatic Matt Damon, Watney is a genius scientist who works in tandem with the forces on Earth to return home. A fantastic ensemble cast assists him in his efforts, including Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Donald Glover, among many others.

  • #22. Arrival (2016)

    Directed by Denis Villeneuve
    - Stacker score: 83.3
    - Metascore: 81
    - IMDb rating: 7.9
    - Votes: 516,889
    - Runtime: 116 min

    In many movies on this list, humankind ventures far out into the galaxy, discovering alien planets and their inhabitants. In 2016’s enigmatic “Arrival,” the aliens come here. Whether they’re bearing gifts or baring their teeth remains to be seen; it’s up to a linguist (Amy Adams) and a physicist (Jeremy Renner) to interpret the alien language. Villeneuve has already shown himself to be a powerful force in the speculative science fiction genre, and “Arrival” is a head-spinning masterpiece.

  • #21. District 9 (2009)

    Directed by Neill Blomkamp
    - Stacker score: 83.3
    - Metascore: 81
    - IMDb rating: 7.9
    - Votes: 605,104
    - Runtime: 112 min

    “District 9” sees an alien species set up camp on Earth. Using the xenophobia humans display against aliens as an allegory for the racism of South Africa’s apartheid, this found-footage mockumentary turns the glamour of interspecies contact into a biting critique of contemporary affairs.

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